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Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life by George Eliot
     

Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life by George Eliot

by George Eliot
 

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Subtitled "A Study of Provincial Life", the novel is set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch, thought to be based on Coventry, during the period 1830�32. It has multiple plots with a large cast of characters, and in addition to its distinct though interlocking narratives it pursues a number of underlying themes, including the status of women, the nature of

Overview

Subtitled "A Study of Provincial Life", the novel is set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch, thought to be based on Coventry, during the period 1830�32. It has multiple plots with a large cast of characters, and in addition to its distinct though interlocking narratives it pursues a number of underlying themes, including the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy, political reform, and education. The pace is leisurely, the tone is mildly didactic (with an authorial voice that occasionally bursts through the narrative), and the canvas is very broad.

Although it has some comical elements and comically named characters (Mr. Brooke, the "tiny aunt" Miss Noble, Mrs. Dollop), Middlemarch is a work of realism. Through the voices and opinions of different characters we become aware of various issues of the day: the Great Reform Bill, the beginnings of the railways, the death of King George IV, and the succession of his brother, the Duke of Clarence (who became King William IV). We learn something of the state of contemporary medical science. We also encounter the deeply reactionary mindset within a settled community facing the prospect of what to many is unwelcome change.

The eight "books" which compose the novel are not autonomous entities, but reflect the form of the original serialisation. A short prelude introduces the idea of the latter-day St. Theresa, presaging the character Dorothea; a postscript or "finale" after the eighth book gives the post-novel fates of the main characters.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940149724390
Publisher:
Boo Radley Press
Publication date:
06/25/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Mary Ann Evans (22 November 1819 � 22 December 1880), known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871�72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of them set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.

She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure her works would be taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names during Eliot's life, but she wanted to escape the stereotype of women only writing lighthearted romances. An additional factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny and to prevent scandals attending her relationship with the married George Henry Lewes, with whom she lived for over 20 years.

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